Making small changes to increase your metabolism can positively affect your well-being. Spending time in your hot tub is another. It’s part of a holistic approach to wellness with significant positive benefits. Just 20 minutes a day can help you reduce stress, increase flexibility and circulation, promote muscle recovery and improve sleep.
Your metabolism is a collection of chemical reactions taking place in your body. It converts food into energy. Your metabolism is the amount of energy your body burns and is a major factor into weight loss or weight gain.
Are there ways you can crank up your metabolism to lose weight? Well, yes and no. There isn't a magical switch to your metabolism, one you can turn on or off that will help you lose weight. And if you see a pill that promises to do just that, approach with caution. In this Mayo Clinic article on metabolism and weight loss, Katherine Zeratsky, R.D, L.D., warns that boosting your metabolism through supplements won’t help you lose weight. Changing your diet and lifestyle will help make that change.
That said, changes to diet and lifestyle can help with your metabolism. If you search for metabolism-boosting ideas, you’ll find simple weight-loss tips.
Are there changes you can make in 20 minutes a day or less that can affect your metabolism? We think so. Here are a few ideas that you can put in place for just a few minutes a day.
Eat Right – At the Right Time
Start your day with a good breakfast. As a survival mechanism, your body reacts to hunger by slowing down and adding fat to conserve energy. According to a study shared by The Toronto Sun people who skipped breakfast are 4.5 times as likely to be obese than those who didn’t. Eating small meals throughout the day will keep your metabolism running. Focus on foods like lean protein, complex carbohydrates - and no junk food.
Have Some Whey Protein
Try making smoothies with whey powder. “Whey protein increases calorie burn and fat utilization, helps the body maintain muscle and triggers the brain to feel full,” according to Paul Arciero, a professor in the Health and Exercises Sciences department at Skidmore College. Proteins like whey have a thermogenic, making your body produce more heat and burn more calories. Whey seems to have a metabolic effect even greater than meat proteins.
Enjoy Your Coffee
The average metabolic rate of people who drink caffeinated coffee is 16 percent greater than those who drink decaf, according to a study in the journal Physiology & Behavior (cited at Health.com). Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system by increasing heart rate and breathing. Note: The cream and sugar you’re adding can negate the positive benefits.
The list of benefits of green tea continues to grow. Among its other healthful qualities, green tea contains a compound called ECGC, which promotes fat burning. According to an article at Active.com, people who consumed three to five cups a day for 12 weeks decreased their body weight by 4.6 percent.
Choose Organic Produce
Pesticides found on produce have been blamed for slowing metabolism and causing weight gain. Not ready to buy all organic produce? Check out our blog to learn how to get the most bang for your buck when buying fruits and vegetables.
Step It Up
Increased activity fires up your metabolism and burns more calories. As a health tip, this one’s probably obvious to just about everyone. Try pushing your exercise into a higher intensity workout. It fires up your resting metabolism the most, according to WebMD.com. Consider other small changes during the day that can help. For example, when you get a phone call, stand up rather than staying seated. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, a 150 pound person burns 72 calories an hour sitting and 129 calories an hour standing. Walking around the office while you talk increases the total to 143 calories an hour.
Treat Yourself to Some Dairy
Try milk or low-fat yogurt for a calcium-rich snack. These snacks can help your body metabolize fat more efficiently, according to a University of Copenhagen study (reported in active.com).
Incorporating small changes into your life can help heighten your metabolism over time.
What Do You Think?
Have you specifically targeted your metabolism as a way to reduce weight? Let us know what changes you’ve made and how those changes have affected you. Did your changes involve changing your diet, adjusting your physical activity or taking supplements? We’d love to hear your story.